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403

" And pappy said,' Boy, I been notice-en you sorter raise-en
yore sap/

"So I taken out fer Kansas. Pappy gimme a horse and
saddle and fifty dollars and hit gold. I figgered I'd go to
Kansas and be a buffalo hunter, lak I'd heared tell. I figgered
I was handy with a rifle as the next man. Many's the time,
shooten fer a steer, I'd took hind quarter, hide, and tallow,
that being top man. Fellers would put up fifty cents a-piece
and buy a steer and shoot fer choice, high man hind quarter,
hide, and tallow, next man, hind quarter, and next man, fore
quarter and head, and next man, fore quarter. Shoot at a
shingle and a little heart drawed on hit in white clay, and
cross-marks in the heart, forty paces free style or sixty paces
layen to a chunk.

"Hit was in Hays City I taken up with a feller named
Mingo Smith. He was a Yankee and he fit the war. He got
mustered out and he come to Kansas. He'd been a muleskinner
down to Sante Fe, and a bull-whacker out Colorado way, and
a boss layen the Kansas Pacific railroad, and he'd hunted
buffalo fer the railroad, too, to feed the men, they wasn't
nuthen he hadn't took a turn to, hit looked lak. He was a
long skinny feller, didn't have no meat on his bones to speak
of, and his face was all yaller and he didn't have no hair to
his head, and hit yaller, too. And him not more'n thirty.
'Some day, I'll shore be a disappointment to a Cheyenne/
he'd say, and rub his hand over whar his hair oughter be.
He figgered he'd take one more turn, the price on hides goen
up -lak hit was. Men come-en out to Hays City to buy hides,
and all. Mingo, he had some money he'd got fer freighten
up from Fort Sill, and a old wagon, and he bought and paid
fer what all we needed, and said I could pay him my part
outer what we took. So I thanked him kindly, and we hit
out, him and me,

"Seven-eight year, and durn, we was all over that-air country,
one time and ernuther. North of Hays City to the Saline,
and up Pawnee Creek and the Arkansas, and down in the
Panhandle on the Canadian, and down to Fort Sill They